Shane Archbold (Bora-Argon 18) has been selected to line up for his team at the Tour de France. It will be Archbold’s first appearance at the iconic three week stage race, where he will be racing as one of the lead out riders for the team’s sprinter, Sam Bennett.
The rest of the Bora-Argon 18 lineup will be made up of Jan Barta, Cesare Benedetti, Emanuel Buchmann, Bartosz Huzarski, Patrick Conrad, Andreas Schillinger, and Paul Voss.
The team received one of the four wildcard entries that ASO, the organisers of the Tour de France, awards to teams that do not form part of the top tier of world cycling, the World Tour, and are therefore not entitled to an automatic invitation. The other three invitations went to French teams, so Bora-Argon 18 was fortunate indeed to receive the invitation, paving the way for Archbold’s debut at Le Tour.
Archbold, who took gold in the scratch race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, joined Bora-Argon 18 last year, and has been producing some solid results since, while doing invaluable work for his team sprinter Bennett. He also recently completed the week-long Criterium du Dauphine, won by Chris Froome, which showed that he can endure through the high mountains of the French Alps, something many sprinters struggle with. His performance there may well have been key to convincing his team that he has what it takes to be in it for the long run at the Tour de France, providing support for Bennett as they take on the best sprinters in the world.
The 2016 edition of the Tour de France kicks off on 2 July, with most of the early stages to the liking of the sprinters, which could see Archbold and Bennett close to the front as the peloton flies to the finish line.
More to come . . .